Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure Sean Fleming has called on the government to put its money where its mouth is.
He was responding to comments from Minister Brian Hayes who’s in charge of the OPW, which is the leading agency for flood risk management. The spending estimates for 2014, which will be voted on in the Dáil in the coming weeks, do not contain any extra money for flood relief or risk management.
Deputy Fleming commented: “What we are seeing from government at the moment is a hopeless response to the flood and storm damage caused in recent days. Minister Brian Hayes’ comments that there will be extra money made available amount to nothing more than crocodile tears. The Minister’s own spending estimates for 2014 only provides €45m for flood risk management, down from €53m in 2012. The fact is the Government has not been investing enough money to prepare communities for possible storm and flood damage.
“I am calling on Minister Hayes to come before the Public Expenditure sub-committee as a matter of urgency. If the Minister is serious about providing extra money this should be reflected in the Department’s spending plans before they are voted on in the Dáil. Failing to do so would be utterly hypocritical. The Government should also prioritise an application for emergency relief funding from the EU Solidarity Fund.
“Thousands of people have been affected with homes and businesses suffering huge damage. Last Friday Fianna Fáil called on the Government’s emergency planning committee to meet and co-ordinate the response but this is only happening today.”